For Boat Geeks


For Boat Geeks 


Those of you interested in the details of maintaining your boat in exotic places (cruising) might find some useful tidbits of information here.  While we claim no particular expertise we have had the experience of refitting Tivoli and updating most of her systems and, along the way, have learned a thing or two.  We will use this space to document such projects in the hopes the occasional nuggets of information may be of value to other N50 owners.  The outline of projects completed to date follows; details will be filled in as time permits.

Boat Specs

51′ 2 ” / 15.60 M
44′ 2″ / 13.46 M
16′ / 4.88 M
14’4″ / 4.37 M
5′ 8 ” / 1.73 M
80,000 lbs / 36.29 T
Lugger L-6108A
300 hp
2,800 nm @ 8 kts.
260 gals. / 984 L
1,320 gals. / 4,997 L

Engine Room Updates
LED lighting
If you own one of these boats you might want to remove one of the outside red courtesy lights and check out the receptacle.  We had several that were scorched due to the hot halogen bulbs.  This led us down the path to replace virtually all lights on Tivoli with LEDs.  The external courtesy lights are now blue.  All the internal overhead lights and even the bulbs in the table lamps were replaced with LED as well.  Not only are these safer as they don’t generate the heat a halogen does, they use remarkably little 12VDC; always a nice thing when living on 12 volts.  Replacing the external lights were not straightforward; the Hella’s I purchased had a different hole pattern from the originals (naturally).  I designed some polycarbonate adapter plates and screwed those to the original screw pattern and then attached the new lights to a clean surface with the new pattern.  Also rebedded each as a couple had clearly been leaking.

Muffler replacement
When we purchased Tivoli the survey revealed the muffler to be badly rusted.  The price of the boat was adjusted and we went on our merry way.  Little did I appreciate how much of an ordeal the replacement would be.  To begin, PAE installed a mild steel HARCO muffler and, to its credit, it did last 11 years.  Given how much work I knew the replacement would be I opted for the stainless steel version HARCO.  It is a masterpiece.  I carry pictures in my wallet.  However, the installation, should you need to do this, will require the complete removal of the stack (ours is hull #5 without a flybridge and with a single fiberglass two-part stack).  That of course must be preceeded by complete removal of all electronics antennae; radar, VHF, GPS, etc.   Since we intended to upgrade our electronics anyway this would also allow replacement of this aging equipment.  The boat is then moved into a Travellift and the jib crane is used to lift off the heavy bits.  The stack is in two parts and both must be unbolted and lifted off the boat to provide access to the rusty bolds connecting the muffler to the remainder of the dry stack exhaust (fortunately all stainless).  Two men, a very large wrench, a pipe to increase the leverage and its easy!  It also helps to spray the bolts with PB Blaster every day for a week or two prior to the job.  The new stainless unit was bolted in place and covered with a lovely new exhaust jacket that not only looks great if you peer into the stack but also seemed to result in an even quieter boat.  The two stack pieces were hoisted back aboard and reassembled.  Took a day and about 4 yard workers but we got the job done with no damage and the result is an exhaust system that should not need replacement for a very long time.

24VDC DeltaT radial fan heat exhaust system update
A cool diesel engine is a happy diesel engine.  Our engine room came with the standard two-blower exhaust system with one unit providing cooling air to the outer jacket of the dry stack exhaust and one unit simply blowing hot air up the stack.  On a hot summer day the ER temp could reach 110F or more.  One likes to keep ER temp no more than 20F above ambient.  My first modification was to replace the original Jabsco blowers with higher output DeltaT blowers.  This helped but was still wanting.  Next step was to install two DeltaT axial 24VDC fans at the aft end of the ER.  The starboard side unit sucks fresh outside air into the ER; the port side unit exhausts hot ER air to the outside.  The system is tied into our 12VDC fire suppression system so that all fans will shut down if the extinguisher is activated.  This required some expert advice from Ron Goldberg on a sistership Duet.  The result: a very cool ER.  So far, temps have not exceeded 10-15 above ambient even on hot summer days.  An added benefit; you can fly a kite in the ER.  Downside: it is a bit noisy in the cockpit with them running.  A circuit breaker can be tripped to shut them down if they aren’t needed.  All-in-all a great modification to Tivoli and one that should keep our Lugger purring on for many more years.

Soot Sock
Dry stack exhaust systems are characterized by a keel cooler and an exhaust system that exhausts high above the deck rather than at the water line of the boat. There are many advantages, the most significant of which is they are simpler: no impellers to fail, no possibility of sucking up a plastic bag and killing the engine, less maintenance, etc. On the other hand they do have a quirky behavior that one has to tolerate; they can exhaust black oily soot all over your clean white fiberglass boat and those of the neighbors! This happens if rain gets into the exhaust pipe. To deal with this we cover the exhaust every time we shut down the engine unless there is no chance of rain.

The other circumstance is when operating in cold climates or under conditions amenable to fog (temp and dew point nearly the same). Condensation can accumulate in the pipe as cold outside air hits the warm pipe. To deal with this one uses a “soot sock”. The previous owner used a Nomex bag but I always dumped soot out of it during the removal process. So, I came up with an alternative that works quite well. Go to Lowes and purchase two 5 inch diameter 90 degree aluminum elbows, some aluminum tape, and a boat hook extension. Straighten one elbow and leave the other at 90 degrees. Put them together and tape with the aluminum tape. Then get out your trusty hammer and beat the heck out of the end of the boat hook extension so that it is flat. Now drill 3-4 holes in the flat end and rivet the extension to the elbows. Place a nylon stocking over the end and secure with a zip tie.

Now you have a very light soot sock that fits precisely over the exhaust pipe, attaches to a boat hook for easy installation and removal, stows nicely in the stack compartment, and effectively traps soot coming out of the stack. Slip the sock over the stack, start the engine, let it run, after a few minutes go and remove the “soot sock”, stow it, and you are good to go. No muss, no fuss.
Galley/Laundry Equipment Updates
Wolff induction cooktop
We replaced the original electric cooktop with an induction cooktop and have been very happy with the choice.  This was essentially “plug-and-play”.  Out with the old, drop in the new…..easy job.
Bosch microwave
We replaced the original microwave with a new Bosch microwave/convection oven in 2011.  It lasted 2 1/2 years with minimal use.  The replacement Bosch is larger.  Fortunately a GE unit just fits.  So, if you are considering a microwave replacement we would suggest forgetting Bosch and going with something else.  You will need to build a new bracket to install a replacement as the original sat on a shelf and all new microwaves tend to be suspended from an overhead cabinet.  Fortunately the new GE hole pattern was very similar to the “old” Bosch so the replacement took an afternoon with help from friends….not as bad as I anticipated.
The original disposal failed before we got the boat home.  The replacement was a easy as one would expect for such a project.  Nothing complicated here; simply remove the old and replace with a new one….standard fittings and sizes, etc.
Splendide washer and dryer
Our Asko dryer failed.  It made a thump/thump noise and was clearly a guide roller problem.  I ordered a slew of replacement parts, guide rollers, new drive motor and gears, belt, etc.  Then, I hesitated several months.  This is a Huge job.  The rails have to be removed from the stairwell, all teak surfaces covered with padding, the dryer disconnected and jockeyed up the stairs onto the pilothouse floor.  I did this with some help from the Aqua crew and quickly discovered the roller could not be replaced (long story), the motor was rusted and the replacement didn’t fit and it had a different wiring harness.  So, I say let’s get these 15-year old appliances out of here as they look like trouble to me.  Since the dryer was already sitting on the PH floor we attempted to carry it down the stairway to the salon and out the back door.  Won’t fit.  The boat was built around the appliances.  Had to disassemble with a hammer and chisel and remove in pieces.  Then discover replacement Asko’s are larger, too tall to fit in their lovely teak cabinet homes!  After wearing out Google, we found units that appeared to fit in the available space; separate 110VAC washer and 220VAC externally vented dryer.  These were ordered and shipped, we wait a couple weeks, and the crew at Aqua brought them down the dock and hoisted them onto the back of Tivoli.  We unpack them both only to discover the dryer was badly damaged.  We had the washer so, I say, let’s install that at least.  Remove the old one and, guess what, doesn’t fit down the salon stairs.  We diassaemble and remove.  The new one weighs 175 pounds, up the salon stairs, down the stairs to the cabinet; doesn’t fit….1/8″ too high.  Crew takes all three appliances up the stairs, down the stairs, off the boat and back to the workshop.  Damaged dryer is repackaged; a replacement is ordered.  I make a desperate call to our friend David C. a master cabinet maker and he graciously arrives with a truck full of tools.  He removes the teak trim surrounding the washer space and we retrieve 1/4″ to receive the new washer.  The Aqua crew brings the washer back, it now fits into its space.  I hook it up and we give it a test run.  Joy!  Cabinet is restored to its former glory; all is good!  Another couple weeks waiting and the replacement dryer arrives, undamaged.  The Aqua crew carries it down to Tivoli and hoist it aboard and it fits into its cabinet.  We then notice this is a 110VAC model and not the 220VAC model we ordered….could not believe it.  Up the stairs, down the stairs, off the boat.  A replacement is ordered.  I will not share the conversation had with the vendor at this point!  A couple weeks for shipping and finally the new unit arrives, and is installed without further ado.  Moral to this story (in case you didn’t already know this): even a simple job on a boat can turn into an ordeal.  For you N50 owners out there; your washer/dryer is long of tooth and will likely need replacement.  The Splendide Ariston units are lovely, work much better than the old Asko’s, have a better user interface and display and are quieter….and they fit into the available space.  You may have to remove the 1/4″ teak trim surrounding the opening but this can be done without damage.  You will also need to reblock the units as they are shorter than the Asko’s.  Take this opportunity to do a better job than the original.


Electronics Updates

We decided early on to stick with a single electronics vendor to minimize complications that always seem to arise when working with devices from different manufactures; in spite of N2K.  So, we explored options and ultimately settled in Simrad for a variety of reasons.  I find them intuitive to use, robust, and easy to install.  So, the entire boat is connected via a Simnet N2K backbone and all electrontics share this network and the data on it.  So far, we have been happy with this choice in gear….time will tell.
TX06 6Kw pulse radar
Installation of the TX06 was straightforward.  Antenna mounting on the stack requires the usual care in drilling, epoxy filling and redrilling to avoid water intrusion into the core material.  Cables enter the pilothouse under the third panel from the port side.  Wiring it up and calibration was easy.  The only point to note is this antenna unit has an on/off switch on its base.  This switch is easy to turn off with a boat brush; for example.  Then it won’t work and you will see a cryptic message “spoke data unavailable”…..gobbledygook.  Just climb up to the antenna and flip the switch back on and all will be well.
4G Broadband radar
Instant startup, good resolution, no RF irradiation of your guests or neighbors….what’s not to like?  Plus, you can display two instances; one at long range and one at short range, for example…..nifty feature.
(NOTE: per Peter Hayden’s discussion on the NOG MARPA doesn’t work well on either of these Simrad radars.  MARPA can track other vessels fine in some cases (generally slow vessels on smooth seas) but fail to track at other times.  This ssue has been brought to the attention of Navico by many customers yet no software update has yet been issued to fix the problem….as of 06/25/2015.  I woiuld not recommend Simrad radars until this issue is addressed.)
NSE12 displays (2)
We installed two 12 inch Simrad NSE12 multifunction displays.  These monitors can display charts, radar, sounders, navigation data, autopilot, video cameras, etc.  They have worked well for us and provide significant flexibility.  With two of these and two touch-sensitive NSS multifunction displays we can have two views of our charts, two views of our radar, sonar data, video and FLIR data, trip info, etc.
We installed IS20 series instruments and opted to place them front and center.  This was based on my old flying days experience and puts all critical info (in this case boat speed, depth, wind direction and speed, and rudder position) directly in front of the “pilot”.
We updated the IS20 instrument cluster shown above by replacing them with color digital IS40 displays.  The IS20’s contrast in bright sunlight was poor; the new IS40’s are much brighter, are color, and are much easier to read in sunlight.  Plus, they can be configured to display most data on the N2K network.
  IS40 displays
NSS6 and NSS12 displays
We installed two touch-sensitive NSS series multifunction displays to allow use of Simrad’s WiFi capabilities, provide additional screen space, and additional redundancy.  A smaller 7″ NSS7 bracket-mount unit is installed on the port side of the pilothouse and a 12″ NSS12 is built into the starboard console panel.  We generally use the NSS7 to display trip data while underway, setup an anchor watch while at anchor, and we connect to it via Simrad WiFi to display any data (chart, radar, etc.) on our iPads.  This allows monitoring of anchor watch and other info from the master stateroom or anywhere else on the boat.  The NSS12 is typically used to display StructureScan data as illustrated here, or the FLIR camera, and often the chart with XM weather overlay to keep an eye on approaching storm cells.  The left image also shows an iPad we use to display ActiveCaptain data, run ActiveCaptain Companion, or often Google Maps if we want street-view information.  The small unit in front in this image is a wired remote that can be used to manipulate any of the 4 Simrad multifunction displays.  The image on the right also shows an iPad we typically use to run Garmin’s BlueChart as a backup to our C-map charts on the Simrad gear.  The NSS units have their own built-in GPSs but are configured to use the GS25 GPS mounted externally on the antenna array.
Simrad NSS7

Simnet WiFi
We have a WiFi unit mounted under the pilothouse cabinet that allows us to display any Simnet data on our mobile devices (iPads, iPhones).  This allows us to monitor any data anywhere on the boat.  Very handy.

BadBoy WiFi Booster with external antenna
Our ship’s WiFi booster is a “Bad Boy”.  It has an external antenna mounted on the external antenna array.  It boosts weak WiFi signals and retransmits the amplified signal inside the boat.

Wilson 4G cell booster with external antenna
We can boost weak cell phone signals using a Wilson booster.  It has an external antenna mounted on the antenna array.  One can insert your phone into a cradle to amplify the cell signal.  In our case we use an ATT hotspot device that we place in the cradle and it provides a signal boost that can be used by any mobile device onboard.  It works quite well and allows us to get cell coverage many miles offshore.
Satellite phone
We have an Iridium Go! satellite hot spot.  It is mounted to the pilothouse console and is attached to an external antenna providing excellent reception.  It is used offshore to make calls, emails, texts.  We can also download grib weather files and view them on an iPad.  This is our primary communications device when out of cell phone range.  It works well in our experience.

Custom external antenna array (
I have used eMachinshop to design and fabricate a number of items onboard Tivoli.  The most complex has been the array I designed to house the many external antennas one typically finds on a boat like Tivoli.  Not wanting to drill a couple dozen more holes in the pilothouse roof, I designed a simple solution.  It fabricated from 1/4″ aluminum, powdercoated white, and is mounted on a commercially available stainless radar mount.   The array is visible behind the KVH satelite TV unit on the top “snout” of our stack.  It is home to two GPS antennas, WiFi and cell booster antennas, AIS antenna, and Sirius/XM weather antenna.
AIS and Autopilot AP70
The AIS is a “must have” piece of gear; for safety reasons.  The Simrad unit has its own display and offers a crude chart representation of AIS-equipped boat positions or a list.  The AIS data is also displayed on our chart plotters and radars.  We find this very helpful in facilitating contact with other vessels if needed and establishing a positional awareness of surrounding traffic.  It does exhibit delays and doesn’t replace your radar’s MARPA capability but is very useful nevertheless.  On inland waterways it provides a huge improvement in “seeing” tow boat traffic around tight bends in the river or waterway.  It is mounted in the port side overhead panel in the pilothouse.  Very useful.  The AIS is on the left in this image; our autopilot control unit is on the right (AP70).  The AP70, in conjunction with an AC70 course computer and our hydraulic steering pump and system, steers the boat 90% of the time.  It too is a critical piece of gear.  As backup each of the Simrad multifunction displays can also act as a controller. 
Simrad AIS and AP70
GPS15, GPS25
There are probably a dozen GPS units onboard but the primary ship’s position sensors are the GS15 and GS25.  The GS25 unit is a 10Hz GPS providing fast data updates to the course computer, the GS15 is an older slower but still fully functional backup.  These can be selected easily from the autopilot controller or any of the displays.  Both are mounted on the antenna array on the stack.
Maretron gear is terrific.  One can purchase a multitude of sensors and displays or software to monitor literally anything you wish on a boat.  Our Maretron system is very rudimentary.  We have a single DSM150 display, fuel flow monitors, temperature monitors, and the WSO weather module.  The display has been configured to display 16 different pages of data on the Simnet network and provides redundancy for the primary instruments and displays.  It’s primary role is to monitor fuel consumption.  The fuel monitors have been very accurate and provide instant readout of gallons/minute burn rate and total gallons consumed since reset. Nordhavns generally have sight gauges mounted on their main fuel tanks to give one a visual indication of quantity remaining.  Ours seem correct but, frankly, these have never been calibrated to my knowledge and are likely not to be as accurate as one would hope.  Further, the scale on the indicators are in 50 gallon increments…so crude at best.  The solution for us?  Install Maretron fuel flow sensors in the Lugger’s fuel lines.  I designed a custom fabricated bracket ( to mount them on, plugged them into their black box and that sends data to the Simnet network for all instruments to use.  The DSM150 display mounted in the pilothouse displays rate of fuel burn in gallons/hour and total fuel consumed since reset.  So far, they appear to be very accurate and give us a higher level of confidence in determining the level of fuel remaining.  It is also informative to see the rate of fuel consumption vs. rpm.  We also monitor external and engine room temperatures using this system.  Many additional capabilites are possible.
The bottom image above shows the NAIAD stabilizer control unit, the Maretron DSM150 display, and the Maxwell anchor control unit that displays the amount of anchor chain deployed.  The image on the top shows the Maretron fuel-flow sensors mounted on a custom bracket.  These are located on the starboard side of the main engine in the engine room.
 Our forward looking infrared camera or FLIR provides an image based on heat and, thus, can image a scene in darkness.  We have the FLIR M2 model that, using a joystick controller, can be rotated 360 as well as up and down.  It doesn’t provide an image of objects very far away but one can certainly see far enough for collision avoidance, finding a man overboard, see floating objects, navigation markers, etc.  It gives one a good view of sea state at night and it also provides an “artificial horizon” which I find comforting when in total darkness offshore….a good visual reference.  It is mounted on a SeaView mount located on the pilothouse roof.
Sidescan Sonar
The Simrad Sidescan Sonar doesn’t really work as advertised.  It does provide depth and a view of the bottom on both sides of the boat.  It does provide images of plant life on the bottom and fish.  But it is far less useful for identifying coral, tree stumps, and the like on the bottom than I had hoped.  It may work well on a bass boat but isn’t worth the money on Tivoli.
ICOM 505 VHF (2)
The VHF radio is the primary form of communication when underway.  We have two ICOM 505’s mounted in the overhead panel with remote CommandmicIII microphones mounted on the console.  The remote mikes eliminate dangling microphone cords and allow easy manipulation of the channels, volumn, squelch, etc. from the helm seat.  The port unit is attached to a hailer horn mounted on the stack and also transmits/receives AIS data.  The port unit is interfaced to the port NSE12 to receive position data; the starboard unit is interfaced to the starboard NSE12 for position data.  This information is transmitted automatically if the Distress button is depressed and held for 6 seconds; motifying all surrounding vessels of an emergency and the location of the vessel.

The image above also illustrates a BlueSeas switch panel used to activate each of the 4 wipers, two LED searchlights, electrical distribution panel lights, and pilothouse fans.  The joystick controls visible in this photo manipulate the Stryker LED search lights mounted on the stack.

SiriusXM and weather
We have the Simrad Sirius/XM weather module that displays weather radar, lightning, and other data.  We typically overlay this information on a chart and have a good view of surrounding storm activity.  Of course, this data is only received within about 200 miles of shore.
KVH M1 and two receivers (salon and MSR)
A KVH M1 system is used for satelite television.  This unit works very well, has been powered on nonstop for months, provides an excellent signal even in rough water and certainly while at anchor.  It is a 12 VDC system.  The dome is mounted on the stack and two receivers are mounted under the pilothouse console.  One serves the salon TV and the second serves the master stateroom TV.
Balmar Smartgauges on 12VDC and 24VDC battery banks
The boat as we purchased it did not have decent battery monitoring capability.  I rectificed the situation, I thought, by installing a Magnum add-on to our pure sine-wave inverter that uses a shut to calculate voltage consumption.  I also installed a Victron shunt-based unit to monitor the 24 VDC system.  These are standard devices to monitor battery systems and, when installed correctly, provide accurate data.  In my case the installation proved to be more complicated than I anticipated and I  was clearly not capturing all voltage consumed.  I went to the significant trouble to relocate the shunt for the 12 VDC system but that proved to make matters worse.  Around this time I discovered the Balmar Smartguages.  These do not use shunts; they are dead simple to install; and they provide the data I typically want to monitor battery state: state of charge (SOC) and voltage.  I removed the shunt-based systems and installed the Smartgauges and I’m delighted with the result.  I now have a clear indication of SOC for both 12 and 24 VDC systems; when SOC gets to 60% or so I start the Genset to recharge.  They seem to be very accurate and, though I don’t completely understand the principles underlying their function, they are impressive.  Time will tell how these behave but as of today they are awesome.
Update July, 2016: After much deliberation I figured out the correct installation for the Magnum shunt and spent two days re-installing this system.  Now, we have both SmartGauge and Magnum battery monitors in place to keep an eye on our 12 and 24VDC battery banks. 
This image also illustrates the Watercounter (gallons remaining in our 4 tanks, 300 gallon total capacity).  The top right is the control unit for our 2800W Magnum inverter/battery charger.  The bottom right unit allows us to plug in an iPod and play our music on the pilothouse audio system.

Water consumption is a parameter one needs to carefully monitor.  Even though we carry 300 gallons it goes fast when you do laundry, wash dishes, shower, etc.  So, I ran across a simple device called a Watermonitor which mounts just behind your freshwater pump and measures the flow of water through that line.  A small display in the pilothouse then gives you a reading of total gallons.  You set it to reflect your maximum capacity and it simply subtracts the amount you use over time.  You always have a direct reading of water remaining.  Furthermore; you can mount a second sensor in your watermaker output line and that amount will be automatically added to your total.  After adding our watermaker we installed a second sensor and are still working to get it to read accurately.  Our 400 gal/day watermaker is at the low end of flowrate that this detector can sense and that may be the problem.  We continue to tweak it and may replace the sensor if other modifications don’t correct the problem.  See bottom left display on the image above.
BlueSea digital voltage monitors on 12VDC, 220VAC and 110VAC systems
Analog displays are quite fragile.  We had 7 of them in our 12, 240, 120 distribution panels and several were not working.  I replaced all of them with BlueSeas digital amp and voltage monitors.  Couldn’t be happier.  These work well and give me precise indication of amp production and consumption.  Critical in monitoring quality of shorepower and utilization of battery banks.  The 220/110 VAC panel is shown on the top, the 12 VDC panel is shown on the bottom.  All of the incandescent indicator lights in these panels have been replaced with LEDs.
New laminate covered panels to house all displays
All the electronics illustrated here were mounted in new marine-ply panels surfaced with Wilsonart grey

Seaview mount for 4G and FLIR and Maretron weather sensor and sat phone antenna
The Simrad 4G Broadband radar is forward and the FLIR camer is aft in this image.

FU80 followup lever
The device (left in the following image) is used the control the autopilot.  It is used to steer the boat when in tight quarters; like docking.  The boat is maneuvered completely with this lever, the throttle, and the bow thruster controls.  The steering wheel in this circumstance is inactive.  The control unit to the right manipulates the position of the FLIR camera and allows one to control colors, contrast, intensity, etc.
Electrical Systems Updates
LED lighing throughout the boat internal and external
All incandenscent lights on this boat are gone except for the refrigerator light!  The original fixtures were retained but all the bulbs have been replaced with LED.  This significantly reduced power consumption and eliminated the hot halogen bulbs that, in my view, are a fire hazard.  The exterior lights have also all been replaced with LED; blue night lighting, LED navigation lights, and LED anchor light.
Dual GoLight LED search lights with remote joysticks and custom mount
Two Stryker GoLight LED search lights have been installed.  They are mounted on a custom powder-coated aluminum bracket mounted below the TX06 radar.  Each is hardwired to a joystick control unit mounted in the pilothouse console.  These controllers rotate the lights 360 degrees as well as about 120 degrees up and down.  They are bright!

Magnum 2800W pure sinewave inverter/charger

Custom “deckprism” LED light fixtures in heads (Artist: Brian Russell)
Our friend, glass artist Brian Russell, was kind enough to craft two new LED lights for the heads on Tivoli.  The originals were cheap fluorescent fixtures and were looking sad.  The replacements shown below are based on deck prisms and were handcrafted.  The base is beautifully machined aluminum, the prism glass was crafted from a custom mold and poured glass.  Beautiful and functional as well.  Visit Brian’s website to see his beautiful artwork:
We also decided to add one of Brian’s art pieces to our pilothouse.  This one is called “Rarebitten”.  The cobalt-blue glass is beautiful in the sunlight; a joy to behold and brings back memories of good times with good friends.
Safety Equpment Updates
6-man liferaft
A Winslow Super Light Offshore Plus 6-man liferaft in a cannister is mounted in a cradle on the pilothouse roof.  In the event of an abandon-ship situation it’s painter would be pulled out of the cannister and tied to the boat and the cannister would be thrown overboard.  It will automatically inflate.  Though spendy we hope it will never be used.
Many other safety-related items are carried aboard Tivoli, these include:
405Mhz EPIRB: this device is automatically released and activated when submerged.  It notify’s rescue agencies via satelite; providing location data and boat information
PLBs (4): We have four personal locator beacons aboard; attached to life vests, these provide the same function as the ship’s EPIRB in a small form factor.
Life vests: We carry 6 inflatable life vests and 6 standard life vests. 
Jackline:  This is a stout webing with fittings to attach to the boat.  It can be run forward and used as an attachment point for harness tethers in the event anyone needs to go forward in rough weather
harness tethers:  2 are aboard and attach ones life vest to any attachment point on the boat including the jackline
Ditch bag with handheld watermaker and other survival gear: located in the pilothouse readily accessible in the event of an abandon-ship scenario
USCG approved flares, signalling devices
CO monitors in MSR and GSR
Auto fire extinguisher in ER: automatically releases fire supressant and shuts off all engines and engine room fans.
Fire extinguishers throughout boat
Fire blankets in galley
Smoke detector in ER
Medical Equipment Updates
First Aid kit
Oceanmedix Kits: Medications Kit; Suture Kit; IV Kit
Phillips AED
Plumbing/Head Systems Update
Installed a Headhunter Mach5 110V fresh water pump.  Much better water pressure and a terrific pump; highly recommend.
Replaced water filtration system with a filterless primary filter that can autoflush and a secondary fiber filter.
Holding tank hoses were replaced in 2014
A Watercounter was installed to monitor water consumption.

Davit Update
We replaced the original Nick Jackson 1000lb davit with Steelhead ES1000 4 function davit.  The primary reason was safety.  The Nick Jackson had electrohydraulic control of the up and down motion of the arm and the cable but rotating the davit was a manual process.  Manually swinging a thousand pound tender on the end of a 9 foot long arm over the side in anything but flat calm waters was a hazard IMHO.  The boat tends to heel over a bit so the launch is “downhill” and could get away from you; retrieval is an “uphill” struggle sometimes.  It took both of us to handle this process and was always a concern.  We opted to replace the old with a 4-function unit from Steelhead; now this process is controlled wirelessly and is painless and much safer.  Installation was a month-long process for a 4-day job and was not fun given the vendor we chose (a long story).  However, the device itself is terrific and works beautifully.  It is very well built, extends to 10 feet, retracts to 6 feet, rotates nearly 360, and uses Amsteel cordage instead of stainless cable.  Did I mention, it also looks good?   This was a significant investment but worth the expense.

Accu-steer Pump
The original hydraulic pump used to move the rudder was a Simrad RPU300.  This is a venerable pump that has been in use for years.  This is a critical piece of gear as it, and the autopilot, drives the boat 90% of the time.  A conversation on the Nordhavn Owner’s Group about rudder response time peaked my interest.  The rule-of-thumb is it should take no more than 8 seconds (roughly) to move the rudder from hard to port to hard to starboard.  I could manually turn the wheel and achieve that time but the autopilot and pump took a whopping 16 seconds.  While this doesn’t sound like much the impact is, nevertheless, significant.  Slower rudder response times means the boat is less responsive when docking and means it wallows more in following seas.  I spent a good deal of time exploring autopilot settings on our AP70 hoping the be able to adjust flow rate of the Simrad pump; no joy.  So, we purchased an Accu-steer HPU100 pump, had it installed by Yacht Tech., and haven’t been happier.    The pump has an adjustable flow rate on the pump itself if any adjustments are needed. Hardover times are now 8 seconds, it is significantly easier to maneuver the boat using the followup lever, and the boat tracks much straighter in following seas.  In addition to the pump installation we also replaced the rigid copper tubing connecting the pump to the steering hydraulics with flexible hose.  The unanticipated consequence of this is the autopilot is now dead silent.  The rigid copper tubing would convey the whine of the pump as it was working to the pilot house…this could get tiring when the pump was working hard.  Now, one has to monitor the rudder position indicator to see the pump working, it is too quiet to hear.  I highly recommend this upgrade to any N50 owner.
In December of 2015 we plumbed in our spare RPU300 steering pump.  Replacing a steering pump while underway would be a major pain; with our new arrangement we simply flip a switch to change from the Accu-Steer pump to the backup RPU300.  The autopilot computer needs to be rebooted as well but that takes only a minute.  A nice upgrade that makes the boat safer as well.
NAIAD Stabilizer 201 to 252 Upgrade
I had two small oil leaks in the stabilizer system; one on the conditioning unit and one at the heat exchanger.  We engaged Stabilized Marine, the Florida NAIAD representatives, to fix these issues and they, of course, found other problems as well.  The most serious of which was excessive wear on one of the actuator fittings.  Tivoli had NAIAD 201 stabilizers and the stainless actuator rods are 3/8″ in diameter.  While probably within specifications for our size boat in practice the rod must have flexed enough to wear an oblong hole in the fitting on the connecting point at the fin – over 15 years.  So, we decided to replace the hydraulic actuators with heavier duty 1″ stainless push rods.  In addition, we upgraded the 3 GPM hydraulic pump on the PTO of the Lugger with a 5 GPM unit.  We also replaced a couple hoses and fixed the oil leaks.  This effectively upgraded our model stabilzer to the 252.  We did not opt to spend the $25K for a fancy new control head – although I do lust after one.  From a performance perspective it is difficult to say what the impact has been.  However, we encountered serious seas in a Gulf Stream crossing and the stabilizers worked beautifully.  We feel the system is certainly more robust than the original and we believe the ride is now better as well.
We installed a Spectra Newport MKII watermaker in the engine room. This is a 12 VDC model capable of producing 400 gallons/day of fresh water from sea water. We chose the 12 VDC model so that we can run it from our battery banks or alternators and not depend on our generator to provide 110 VAC. We use about 30 gallons per day, on average, including laundry, showers, cooking, etc. so running the system 2 hours/day is sufficient to replace daily consumption. We placed the feed pump module in the engine room behind the wing engine.

This location makes it convenient to service; changing filters, access to all plumbing and wiring connections, the control panel, etc.

We mounted the Clark Pump/Membrane module upside down on the engine room ceiling. A special mounting plate was designed by our installer J.T. Haldane that incorporates small motor mounts. These absorb any vibration making the unit quiet. As the engine room ceiling is the salon floor we were concerned about noise; the mounting eliminates any transfer of sound to the salon; it is dead quiet while in operation.

The primary control unit was mounted in the galley so that we can easily monitor the water maker’s operation.

This system is very convenient to use. Simply push a button as many hours as you want it to run and let it make water; all priming, monitoring of salt content, valve operation, etc. is fully automatic. When the system is done it automatically flushes the membrane, pre-filters, and even primary filter with about 3 gallons of fresh water. It then starts a timer and repeats this flush every 5 days automatically. There is no need to “pickle” the system as long as 12 VDC and fresh water is available.

We’ve had this installed for 6 months or so at the time of this writing and have been completely happy with it; it works as advertised and is simple to operate and maintain.
Engine Room LED Lights
The original 12VDC lighting in the engine room did not work when we purchased the boat.  We’ve used the 110 VAC lights exclusively.  After several years I finally found the cause of the problem in this circuit in the lazarette.  I replaced a defective swith and was pleased to see the lights operate for the first time; unfortunately they are very dim and of little use.  So I’ve been planning on replacing these incandescent fixtures with LEDs for a long time.  Finally got the job done and what a huge difference it makes.  All areas of the ER are now brightly illuminated.  I used 16 Frensch F-28 fixtures, two per receptacle.  The base for the LEDs were constructed from PVC board; not as heavy or dense as Starboard and perfect for this application.  The entire lot consumes about 8 amps DC.
ER and LEDs
Engine Room LED Lights
Engine Room LED Light Mount
In preparations for a trip to Newfoundland via Bermuda we spent 3 months at Old Port Cove Marina having Yacht Tech upgrade some key systems on Tivoli. First, we completely replaced the drive train: installed a new Aquamet 22 stainless 2.25” shaft, new cutlass bearing, new Tides SureSeal shaft seal, and new coupler to the transmission. The prop has been scanned and tweaked as well.

Shaft and Seal

While on the hard at Seminole Marine we also applied fresh bottom paint and waxed the hull with Sea-Shield products and applied Glidecoat to the prop, wing prop, bow thruster blades and keel at the rudder. We also serviced the Spurs line cutter and replaced all zincs: hull, keel cooler, bow thruster, keel, and line cutters. The slight vibration we used to have at full throttle is gone; Tivoli runs smoothly at all RPM’s.
Tivoli at Seminole

The second project was to install a second battery charger. The goal is to reduce the amount of generator time needed to replenish the house banks by increasing charging capacity. We added a 100 Amp Mastervolt charger for this task. This required pulling 204VAC cable from the distribution panel in the pilothouse to the engine room. While we were at it we pulled a second cable in case some other need for 240/120VAC arises. Time on the hook is needed to determine how well this charger will work for us but it should do the job.


We replaced our old carpet (original to the boat we believe) with a very light shade of grey to match the decor. We carpeted the pilothouse, salon and steps. We also opted to remove the carpet in the staterooms to reveal the beautiful pristine teak flooring. We like the result; kicks it up a notch.
Pilothouse Carpet

We had Stabilized Marine service our NAIAD stabilizers. This included replacing both feedback subassemblies, replacing a hose, replacing a leaky gasket on the gyro unit, and replacing the fin seals. We also took the opportunity to acquire spare hydraulic hoses and fittings to cap off a fin should we need to.

We modified our 12VDC electrical distribution system by adding high capacity shutoff switches for port and starboard battery banks as well as the inverter. The distribution buss panel has been updated as well; replacing the original copper buss bars with Blue Seas terminals with covers. We installed 6 new 8D Lifeline AGM batteries giving us 12xx Ah of capacity, quicker recharge, and eliminating the service obligation to add water to the old lead acid batteries.

Distribution Buss

We replaced the NAIAD supplemental water cooling strainer with a new Perko-5 unit and installed an Oberdorfer water pump to replace the Jabsco used to cool the stabilizers.  The Jabsco impeller pumps fail regularly; the Oberdorfer is a robust continuous-duty pump.

We had some gelcoat repairs done, some minor teak varnish work, some minor woodwork; specifically increasing the depth of the pilothouse bookshelf to accomodate 3-ring binders.  All boat equipment manuals are now readily accessed.


We replaced the original Jabsco bilge pumps (no longer made) with Whale Gulper 320 pumps. We’ve had excellent experience with these pumps; they can run dry without damage, are self-priming, and don’t easily clog.  Two were installed to replace both High and Low water bilge pumps.


We discovered our genset/wing engine start battery was weak so we replaced it with a Lifeline AGM.

We replaced our 6-year-old Dell laptop with a Dell standalone computer. It has a 23” touchscreen display and can be folded flat. This is a very nice addition to the navigation gear. We restrict its use to NobelTec TimeZero software and can run our AP70 autopilot with either the PC or any of the Simrad multifunction displays. One feature of TimeZero that makes us continue to use this software (as compared to Coastal Explorer) is its ability to display vectors between AIS COG data in crossing situations making it easy to determine whether one will pass in front of or behind an approaching vessel….a very nice feature in crowded harbors.  While we can use it to drive the autopilot we typically use it for planning then transfer the route to one of the Simrad MFDs and use that to drive the AP70 autopilot.  The PC uses an Actisense N2K converter to obtain data from our Simnet network and transmit the few NMEA0183 sentences needed to drive the autopilot. 
Dell Touchscreen

We engaged Cintas to test all fire extinguishers aboard and test the fire suppression system in the engine room. This Fireboy system shuts down engines and engine room blowers in the event of a fire. During the test the Lugger and genset shutdown normally, the wing engine did not, and the blowers did not. 70% of boats with these systems do not wire in the wing engine so that wasn’t a surprise as one is not typically running on the wing. No action required there. We replaced all the handheld extinguishers aboard so they are current. The blowers, on the other hand, must shut down immediately or they will rapidly remove all the fire suppressing agent. So, after a couple days effort tracing wires and figuring out what the problem was I rewired both 12VDC blowers each to its own circuit breaker and each to it’s own relay on the Fireboy control unit. On testing, all blowers including the 24VDC axial fans at the aft end of the engine room, now shut down instantly. Problem solved. Tivoli’s fire control devices are now certified another 7 years. It is scary to think we’ve run this boat 6 years now without a fully functioning fire control system. This defect was not identified in any of the surveys we’ve had done on the boat. If you are a boat owner test your fire suppression system! It is easy, simply start up all engines, turn on all fans/blowers in your engine room, then unplug the fire extinguisher bottle in the engine room. Everything should shut down and the alarm should sound. Then test the bypass switch to be sure you can start the main engine in bypass mode. Easy.

Finally, we completed dozens of “small” projects. Compiling lists of spares, safety equipment, charts, hoses, etc. Going through checklists for ocean-crossing trips, acquiring spare parts, replacing EPIRB batteries, replacing handheld watermaker membranes, re-certifying fire suppression system and extinguishers, etc., Dozens of trips to Boat Owners Warehouse, Westmarine, Lowes, OfficeDepot, etc. Before you know it, months have gone by.